A few days ago, the story broke of Kraigen Grooms receiving a suspended sentence after molesting a two-year-old for someone else’s sexual amusement. A lot of people, myself included, questioned whether a black suspect would have been granted such leniency. Others were simply outraged that a pervert caught on camera was walking free after a relatively short stay in the county jail leading up to his trial.
All of this negative attention seems to have put Wapello County Attorney Gary Oldenburger on the defensive and he released a statement intended to defend the light sentence. Instead, he made it infinitely worse.
Some of the statement clarifies misunderstandings about the case, such as Grooms planning to molest another child. Fair enough. But a lot of the statement attempts to paint Grooms as a victim.
Grooms, who was 16 when the incident occurred, had been tricked into believing that he was interacting online with a female his own age and performed the abuse at the pornographer’s request, believing the request was from the teenage female.
So, if he HAD been diddling a toddler for a real teen girl, it’s not a real crime? This reeks of the same kind of “boys will be boys” bullshit we hear when a teen girl is raped at a party. You know how boys are when they get all sexed up and stuff. They do the craziest things!
Oldenburger also points to overcrowded prisons as a problem, raising the question of how often black defendants get that particular consideration. He also cites the availability of the witnesses and how they might not give useful testimony. A possible consideration had Grooms not been recorded. Witnesses become slightly less necessary with video evidence of a crime.
Here’s a good one:
Opportunities for rehabilitation. Grooms was young at the time the offense was committed, and is still and age where sex offender treatment can be very effective. Research indicates that more than ninety percent of young offenders who complete treatment will no re-offend. Young offenders who serve significant prison terms tend to commit more serious offenses after their release. Rather than be rehabilitated, they are hardened. If Grooms were sent to prison for a long period of time rather than being sentenced to probation, he more than likely would be a greater rick to the community after his release that [sic] he will be after serving the sentence he received.
That is a wonderful and enlightened condemnation of America’s prison industrial complex. But again, the question of how often such enlightenment is applied to defendants with brown skin remains.
But the best part is where Oldenburger literally says that diddling a toddler is no big deal because no harm was done:
The child was not injured, no pain was inflicted, and the child was too young to even be aware of what was happening. The child suffered no ill effects as a result of Grooms’ actions.
To summarize: It wasn’t Grooms’ idea. He only did it to impress a girl. Prison is bad. If the kid you diddle is young enough, no harm, no foul.
Well that just makes it all so much better now. Thanks for clearing that all up.
How does this idiot still have a job after this?
Featured image via Wapello County Jail